I AM changing the timing belt! But

I have a 1998 Honda Civic. It has 150,000 miles. And as far as I know… yes… it’s bad… it’s still on its first timing belt…really bad. HOWEVER I am getting it fixed next Wednesday, and knowing that this almost certainly guarantees that it will break this week, I am going to avoid driving it as much as possible.

My question is: Do you think that having waited this long to change it has caused damage to my car? (Beyond emotional damage caused by neglect.)

No, it does not work like that, as long as it has not broken (pretty easy to tell) you are good. I will let others explore the relm of “slipping a few teeth” as this is so rare I hate to even mention it.

Waiting to change it has (so far) not caused any damage at all to your car. However, if it breaks while the engine is running (the only time it would break)…

Get it changed right away and also the tensioner and water pump if it is driven off the timing belt. Then you’re OK for another 100,000 miles.

If the car has automatic, the transmission fluid should have been changed twice already, and replaced with genuine HONDA fluid, no other is acceptable.,

I think we’ve all learned a valuable lesson about timing thingies today: most people don’t know they exist, never change them, and get away with it. I’m not advocating that, thanks to what I’ve learned here, but it’s nonetheless a fact of life.

We can discuss oil change intervals another day.

How much will it cost to replace the timing belt on your car? I also have a 1998 Honda Civic. I bought the car used and the former owner did not know if the timing belt was replaced. Grrrr. My car has 168,000 miles.

It does not hurt a thing.

It holds up my mechanics experience that Honda belts typically hold up until 150k.

I hope you make it. As the others have said, your engine will be fine if it makes it. Having my own 1998 Civic with 190,000 miles, I advise you to include the water pump and timing belt tensioner in your timing belt job. The tensioner and the belt should come as part of a kit for this job. You should also assume your crank shaft seal is leaking oil, so factor that in to the estimate. I would also go ahead and change all of the belts. Doing all this together should save you on labor. I recently (a year or two ago) got all this done at a tire chain shop with a 10% off coupon for about $550. If you shop around, you might find a similar deal, depending on where you live.

The engine will continue to run very normally right up to the milisecond after the belt breaks.

Now, the trick is to have the belt replaced before that event takes place. The only way to avoid it is by not starting the engine or driving the car at all.